The Digital Photo Guy

Photoshop World Workbook Contents

by on Oct.16, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Workshops

I thought readers might be interested to get a peek at what’s inside the 800+ pages of the PSW Workshop that will be given away during the November 14 webinar by Rob Sheppard. It’s one thing to see a photo of an 800+ page book but a completely different thing to see and read some of the contents.

There were 77 classes at PSW proper broken down into 13 tracks: General Photoshop, Photoshop 101, Photoshop Design, Photoshop Fixes, Productivity, Lightroom, Techniques, Creative Suite, Creativity, Photo Studio Live, Motion Graphics, Digital Photography and Print/Prepress. There was another 20 classes (fee and free) before and during PSW. Some were inside the PSW Expo (trade show) and others were extra cost, several hours long seminars called Pre-Cons (pre-conference) before PSW. Also, many vendors in the Expo Hall (about 30 companies) had their own classes and demos where a serious amount of information was sprinkled in among the sales pitch.

All classes are taught by well known NAPP Photoshop and digital photography experts like Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, Dave Cross, Joe McNally, Ben Willmore, David Ziser, Russel Brown, and Lesa Snider. Some are superstars like Jay Maisel, Katrin Eismann, Kevin Ames and Vincent Versace.

One of the classes I sat in was Fixing Common Image Problems by Dave Cross. This was a mix of old materials with new twists as well as a few new fixes. Let’s face it, there are a limited number of fixes that can be applied to a photo before it’s easier to just reshoot the scene. Dave’s notes for the class comprises 14 pages in the Workbook. Because Dave is an excellent teacher, he starts with a general concept that he recommends for all PS fixes: don’t try to make a perfect fix in one swell foop. Almost every PS/PSE instructor, including yours truly, recommends that you use a combination of tools to arrive at the final fix. For example, don’t try to use just the Magic Wand to make a selection unless it’s a simple job like selecting a white cue ball against a green pool table. Use the Magic Wand or Quick Selection Tool to make a gross selection first, then refine the selection using the Lasso Tool, Magnetic Lasso or Polygonal Lasso to select small areas that weren’t selected by the gross tools. This is where knowing keyboard shortcuts like Shift, Alt/Option, Control/Command can pay off big time in efficiency.

Dave covers Fixing White Balance, Changing Text Background to Transparent, Colorize White Objects, Changing Black to White, Removing Harsh Shadows, Extending a Photo, Fixing Distortion from Glasses, Recovering Blown Details and Fixing Group Shots in the 14 pages. More importantly, he finishes most tips with a tip on how to avoid the problem in the first place. For example, under Fixing White Balance, Dave recommends the use of a Gray Card which makes applying a white balance adjstment a snap. But, what if you’re not in a studio or someplace where a gray card is convenient? In that case, try to get something white, gray or black in the scene. You can issue your kids white index cards before an outing to the zoo or park. For the first photo in every different light condition, ask them to hold up the card. If they’re won’t cooperate, staple the card to their forehead (just kidding).

Check back often for more tips from the PSW Workbook or, better yet, subscribe via RSS so you’ll know as soon as I post new material. Even better, register for Rob Sheppard’s Photoshop Elements for Digital Photographers webinar for a chance to win your own copy of the PSW Workbook.

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